Morton leaders prepare people for an increase in natural gas prices, higher bills

Local News

MORTON, Ill. (WMBD) — Energy prices are rising nationwide. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a nearly 25% increase in the energy index over the last year.

Morton Public Works Director Craig Loudermilk expects people to see about a 30% increase in people’s energy bills, up from 2020.

“I would say that’s a pretty high amount for one year, but I will stress that winter 2020 was some of the lowest rates in the last 10 years,” said Loudermilk. “So that 30% is still on a very low rate.”

He said Village leaders are working to protect people from rising costs. Loudermilk is buying at least 60% of the Village’s natural gas at a fixed price from November through March. He’s also monitoring the market and weather. Right now, he said it’s been a mild October.

Loudermilk is sharing the warning so people can prepare and know what to expect this winter.

“If they need to conserve a little bit, turn the thermostat down because maybe 30% is tough for them to absorb, that’s why I want to get the message out,” said Loudermilk.

Loudermilk also said the village isn’t buying all of its natural gas at a fixed price. If it’s a warm winter and the demand for gas is low, the village could lose money when trying to sell it back.

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